There are currently over half a million children in the foster care system in the United States today.
Foster Child Bill of Rights
Ratified in Congress Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Saturday, April 28, 1973
Reaffirmed during the National Focus on Foster Care Conference, Norfolk, Virginia
Wednesday, May 4th, 1983
Even more than for other children, society has a responsibility,
along with parents, for the well-being of children in foster care. Citizens are
responsible for acting to insure their welfare.
Every child in foster care is endowed with the rights inherently
belonging to all children. In addition, because of the temporary or permanent
separation from, and loss of, parents and other family members, the child requires
special safeguards, resources, and care.
Every Child in Foster Care has the Inherent Right:
- Article I
...to be cherished by a family of his own, either his family helped by readily available services and supports to resume his care, or an adoptive family or, by plan, a continuing foster family.
- Article II
...to be nurtured by foster parents who have been selected to meet his individual needs, and who are provided services and supports, including specialized education, so that they can grow in their ability to enable the child to reach his potentiality.
- Article III
...to receive sensitive, continuing help in understanding and accepting the reasons for his own family's inability to take care of him, and in developing confidence in his own self worth.
- Article IV
...to receive continuing loving care and respect as a unique human being...a child growing in trust in himself and others.
- Article V
...to grow up in freedom and dignity in a neighborhood of people who accept him with understanding, respect and friendship.
- Article VI
...to receive help in overcoming deprivation or whatever distortion in his emotional, physical, intellectual, social and spiritual growth may have resulted from his early experiences.
- Article VII
...to receive education, training, and career guidance to prepare for a useful and satisfying life.
- Article VIII
...to receive preparation for citizenship and parenthood through interaction with foster parents and other adults who are consistent role models.
- Article IX
...to be represented by an attorney-at-law in administrative or judicial proceedings with access to fair hearings and court review of decisions, so that his best interests are safeguarded.
- Article X
...to receive a high quality of child welfare services, including involvement of the natural parents and his own involvement in major decisions that affect his life.